Dealing With A Spiritual Identity Crisis - for merge
|Dealing With A Spiritual Identity Crisis|
| | ! 1 Peter 2:9-9
We live in a world that is full of people who are lost… We live in a world where many believe that they simply don’t fit in… We live in a world were many people are searching for a sense of belonging to someone or something… We live in a time were many are simply experiencing what I want to call an identity crisis…!
We live in a time where many people, both in and out of the body of Christ are experiencing an identity crisis… In other words, we don’t know who we are…! We’ve lost our identity… We don’t know who or what we are… And so consequently, we struggle everyday with this concept of being carnal chameleons one day and super-spiritual saints the next… Today we’re saved and tomorrow we’re slipping away… We’ve lost our identity…! And as a result we’re walking around like spiritual zombies trying to find life in any and everything around us…! (Discovered) Because of our identity crisis, we are faced with a very unfortunate dilemma that we must deal with… There are some issues that arise due to our lack of ability to know who we really are that we must deal with… In light of our identity crisis, we must deal with some pre-conceived opinions
I. WHO THE WORLD THINKS WE ARE
It’s no secret of what the world really thinks about those who live for Christ (TV, newspaper, etc)… It’s no secret that the world thinks that we are nothing more than second-class citizens… That we’re nothing more than freaks, fanatics, and frauds… The world thinks that we’re nothing more than extremists, trying to get some attention… They believe that we are bible-toting, tongue-speaking renegades, who only want to put on a spectacle for others to see…They believe that the church is nothing more than a social club, were we gather from week to week to compare clothes, hairstyles, and trends… The church is nothing more than a place for those who are in everybody else’s business to gather to share notes and swap stories…! They feel that the only difference between them and us is that they’re meeting in the clubs, and bars, but we’re meeting in the church!
And as a result of their thoughts about us, our witness becomes ineffective…! We can’t tell them anything, because they see us doing the same thing…! We can’t tell them not to do something because we’re doing everything… And because this spiritual identity crisis has been going on so long, it does not matter what we do to try and show them different… They’re not buying it…!
Because so many have been hurt, rejected, and made fun of by the church, they refuse to hear anything that we have to say...
The world thinks that we’re just putting on a show, pretending to be something that we’re not… (2 Timothy 3:5) Many people “have a form of godliness but they deny its power…” In other words, they’re faking and shaking and it causes a detrimental effect on the entire body of Christ… Likewise I discovered that many people try to live up to what the worlds thinks… “The world says I should…”
And because this, many of are in the midst of a spiritual identity crisis… Because we’re on trying to be Who The World Thinks We Are… But I’ve also discovered that we get caught up in…
II. WHO WE BELIEVE WE ARE
Many people have been led into believing that once you are saved, that’s it…! Once you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, there’s nothing left to do but just sit back and wait for Jesus to return… Many people believe that once saved, we won’t have to worry about no more pain… No more heartache… No more rough times… In other words, we believe that we are immune to trials and tribulations…
But I came to bust your bubble… I’ve got to let you know that just because you’re saved doesn’t mean that you won’t go through… Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean you won’t experience hard times… Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean you won’t experience some midnight hours…! If you don’t believe me, just ask Job… Just ask Paul…
Many times, we get tricked by the enemy into believing that we are invincible… But we must understand that we are nothing and nobody within ourselves… The Bible says that, “all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away (Isa 64:6)…” In the sight of God…!
(Problem) Many have been taken on the belief that they are a product of their own selves… In other words, “You are who/what you because of your own power… You are who/what you because of your own ability… You are who/what you because of who your parents are… You are who/what you because of your education… You are who/what you because of your position in the community…” But the truth of the matter is you are who/what you are because of God…!
You see before you even had the sense to know who you were or what you wanted to be, God had already predestined (ordained, predetermined) your life… In fact He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… (Jeremiah 1:5)” (Point) God knew you before you knew you…!
(Problem) Because we’re so hung up on who we believe we are… Often times we find ourselves trying to conform to our so-called beliefs without regard to if our beliefs are in the will of God…! And because you’re so busy conforming from believe to believe, and transforming from one thing to another… You’ll find yourself trapped in a state of amnesia, because you’ve lost tack of who you are supposed to be at the present time…! (Rom 12:2) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
You see you must understand that it’s a mind thing… And until you change your thinking to God’s way of thinking… Until you change your mindset into a Godly mindset… Until you change your beliefs and believe in what God says… You will be stuck in the constant state of a spiritual identity crisis…!
(Tell somebody…) “If you want to overcome a Spiritual Identity Crisis… Don’t worry about who the world thinks you are… Don’t worry about who you believe you are… But stand on and rest in…”
III. WHO CHRIST SAYS WE ARE
In spite of who the world thinks you are… Who you believe you are… You’ve got to know who Christ says you are…. Look at the text…
Chosen Generation: Selected, Elected, and Preferred
Royal Priesthood: Regal, Majestic
Holy Nation: God’s holy nation
Peculiar People: God’s very own possession… Peter quotes from Exodus 19:6 and Is 43:21The privileges transferred to the people of GodAll true Christians are a chosen generation; they all make one family, a sort and species of people distinct from the common world, of another spirit, principle, and practice, which they could never be if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. [2.] All the true servants of Christ are a royal priesthood. They are royal in their relation to God and Christ, in their power with God, and over themselves and all their spiritual enemies; they are princely in the improvements and the excellency of their own spirits, and in their hopes and expectations; they are a royal priesthood, separated from sin and sinners, consecrated to God, and offering to God spiritual services and oblations, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. [3.] All Christians, where so ever they be, compose one holy nation. They are one nation, collected under one head, agreeing in the same manners and customs, and governed by the same laws; and they are a holy nation, because consecrated and devoted to God, renewed and sanctified by his Holy Spirit. [4.] It is the honor of the servants of Christ that they are God’s peculiar people. They are the people of his acquisition, choice, care, and delight. These four dignities of all genuine Christians are not natural to them; for their first state is a state of horrid darkness, but they are effectually called out of darkness into a state of marvelous light, joy, pleasure, and prosperity, with this intent and view, that they should show forth, by words and actions, the virtues and praises of him who hath called them.(2.) To make this people content, and thankful for the great mercies and dignities brought unto them by the gospel, the apostle advises them to compare their former and their present state. Time was when they were not a people, nor had they obtained mercy, but they were solemnly disclaimed and divorced (Jer. 3:8; Hos. 1:6, 9); but now they are taken in again to be the people of God, and have obtained mercy. Learn, [1.] The best people ought frequently to look back upon what they were in time past. [2.] The people of God are the most valuable people in the world; all the rest are not a people, good for little. [3.] To be brought into the number of the people of God is a very great mercy, and it may be obtained. Along with the great blessings of being the heirs of God’s salvation, however, there are great responsibilities.Peter sums up these in the words that ye should show forth the praises of him. The word show forth (Gr exangelloµ) means literally “to tell out,” and refers to the “preaching” of the gospel, the good news, or praises of God. His marvelous light (see II Cor 4:6) is probably a reference to Isaiah 9:1, and Christ as the “Light of the World.” See also II Peter 1:3. Another amazing proof of the continuity between the Old Testament and You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body…”
“How do I honor Him…?” By showing others His goodness…! “How has He been good to me…?”